on May 8, 2015 :
Ruth and her brothers were Jews, raised by a single dad in France who had a premonition of the anti Semitism coming to Europe. A military man, he raised them in that mindset so Ruth acts and thinks militant. She is perfect for on the ground recognizance with the Virtues spy unit. Codenamed Grace (clearly a Jewish name would never do), she placed and detonated bombs, was extremely decisive--especially decisions involving murder, and was vital in rescuing POWs and Temperance from a Gestapo prison.
This is the fifth in the Virtues and Valor series. A series based on real-life heroes of World War II. Grace is based on "the white mouse," a woman who was elusive in escaping and creating havoc for the Gestapo.
Grace was extremely prejudiced against Germans and the irony of saving an undercover German's life, codenamed Valor, didn't escape me. Where does justification in judging the Gestapo tactics or German concentration camps, for example, cross the line into prejudice of the nation? Did Valor going "above and beyond" for a friend's sake negate Grace's prejudice and induce saving his life? Point of view is so intriguing in life and absolutely so in this series.
I have a personal wish that Hallee Bridgeman would write a Valor series based on the men in this series' point of view. It would be interesting to see from Valor's point of view, for instance.
I received a complimentary book from The Book Club Network at bookfun.org in exchange for my honest review.
(reviewed 44 days after purchase)
on May 6, 2015 :
This is the 5th book in the series. It is about a young woman trained to fight. She is more deep than the others as she is half Jewish and half French. Both Jewish and Christian in her beliefs. Once again, you see the whole picture through the eyes of one main character, this time it is Grace. She has her own issues to deal with as she is fighting the war and trying to save her Jewish people along with all the others against the German empire. You will not be disappointed in this book. It is well written and keeps your interest from beginning to end. This can be a stand alone book, but is more interesting if you read the whole series. I was given this book in exchange for my honest review.
(reviewed 38 days after purchase)
on April 30, 2015 :
Grace’s Ground War, the fifth novella in the Virtues and Valor series, tells the story of the young French/Jewish woman code named “Grace”. Grace meaning “the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings. The love and mercy given to us by God because God desires us to have it, not because of anything we have done to earn it.” She is a member of the team of devout Christian women called Heavenly Virtues during World War II. Grace, whose real name is Ruth, has been trained for survival by her colonel French father who predicted the Nazis would rise again and attempt to kill all Jewish people which includes his children. Grace shows outstanding courage in dangerous situations. As with the other books in this series, Grace’s story is based on a real heroine. Each book in Virtues and Valor leaves you hanging so you will need to read the entire series.
I received this e-book from www.bookfun.org in exchange for my honest opinion.
(reviewed 5 days after purchase)
on April 25, 2015 :
Grace’s Ground War is the fifth story in the ‘Virtues and Valor’ series by Hallee Bridgeman and by far the most intense. This series is set in WWII Europe, and the heroines are based on real women who served in unique and specially-trained teams in the war. Grace’s family was Jewish by birth, and had converted to Christianity. Her mother had died protecting her and her brothers when Germans invaded where they lived when Grace was only a year old, and her father raised her and her brothers to know how to survive on the run, how to fight, and ultimately to preserve their faith in Jesus. Her father, a decorated member of the British military, had prophesied that one day Jews would need to know how to fight to protect their heritage and save their own lives, and that day had arrived when the Nazis came into power. When their father died, Grace and her brothers went to see his old friend, Major Charlene Radden in London. She was in charge of the ‘Virtues’ and several other spy teams throughout Europe.
Ruth Aubertin, code named Grace, learned unusual skills, at least for a woman of that day. Among the skills that she and her brother used were the planning, placement, and setting of various kinds of bombs, and the gift of being able to think on her feet to carry out or change plans as needed to accomplish their goal. She was a valuable member of the ‘Virtues’ with a vital role to play. She worked also with her brothers, as they had their own internal code since childhood that no code-breaker could understand.
She was probably the ‘Virtue’ that was most difficult for me to imagine working next to, because of her background of in-depth training as a soldier and her skill with bombs. It was also hard for me to step into her shoes when knowing that the placement and setting of bombs would cause the death of those for whom the bombs were meant, even though it was to prevent enemy from gaining ground. Grace was an integral hands-on person when it came to the prison escape, liberating the allied prisoners-of-war and making sure that those needing urgent medical care would be taken to and loaded onto the plane that would return them to safety.
Grace, of all the characters, seemed like a young woman who could do whatever was necessary to save the lives of her team at any cost. She was very matter-of-fact, quick-thinking, and skilled at being able to take on the more grueling physical rigors. She was likable, even though not used to spending time around other women, and definitely someone I would want on my side in battle. Grace became one of my heroines in spite of our differences, possibly because of these differences and her faith and courage.
One of the beauties of this series that I have seen more in this story than those previous is how heroic the women were in their given tasks. Grace, and especially the real woman on who this story was based, is a heroine that teen girls could look up to. Even though this story showed a different side to the women who helped during WWII, this is a woman who commanded respect because of those differences. I highly recommend Grace’s Ground War as well as the other stories in the ‘Virtues and Valors’ series. This young woman definitely showed me that these women are Christian women, heroines that our young people could look up to moreso than the glamour and glitzy women that girls want to emulate today – and the ‘Virtues’ have much to teach about faith in their Lord and serving their country – that the two ideals are not mutually exclusive.
With a grateful heart, I received a copy of this book through the “For Readers Only” group at The Book Club Network, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
(reviewed 31 days after purchase)
on April 19, 2015 :
Grace's Ground War
Grace's Ground War ramps up the excitement and danger! Some questions are answered and guesses confirmed. I think that Ruth, “Grace”, is so far the most interesting of Hallee Bridgeman's Virtues. Her Jewish heritage keeps her strong and her faith in the Messiah has gotten her through some of the darkest of times. As with the other stories I really enjoyed the Bible verses that open each book.
(I received a copy of this e-book from the author through The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are entirely my own.)
(reviewed 20 days after purchase)
on April 3, 2015 :
Perfect Series for a Book Club...
Vengeance and hatred make powerful motivators. Ruth's mother, a Jew, has been killed in a Jihadist raid. Certain that the Germans are behind this, and they will again rise to power following the Great War, Ruth's father takes his family back to their native France where he trains son and daughter alike about the intricacies of combat. Just as the father predicts, Germany does indeed rise and begin pogroms against the Jews and non-Aryans. Ruth and her brother, Matthew, are well-trained to join the Elite forces of the Resistance.
Because she believes in the risen Messiah, Ruth is placed on the special 7-lady Resistance team bound together by faith. Grace, as Ruth will be known, will be responsible for the safety of the English courier as well as setting up and coordinating bomb attacks.
I give Hallee a lot of credit in this novella. Many of the conversations we have seen before, and she has gone back and made sure to repeat them as necessary, verbatim. As always, one of my favorite parts comes in the appendix at the end where Hallee shares meticulously gleaned historical fact. Again, there are discussion questions. They were good, and I am still grappling with my own answers. At this point, I highly regret not reading this with a book club. If you get the chance to discuss this series with a book club, it is perfectly set up for that use!!
I received this book from bookfun.org in exchange for an honest review.
(reviewed 8 days after purchase)
on April 2, 2015 :
In this fifth book in the Virtues and Valor series by Hallee Bridgeman, Grace's Ground War, there will be much more than meets the eye and begins not long after we meet Ruth Aubertin and her family. The year is 1929, Hebron Palestine following the destruction of their house of worship by Arabs using fire. And why? Simply because they were Jews. Andre, the father, decides to move his family back to France where he can continue to train them to fight against the Germans, the very people whom had killed his wife while she was shielding her children from them. Although Andre was British by birth , fought with the British Army, he was French by blood, but his wife was Jewish as were his children. They would not be readily accepted if this lineage was known.
Once the father passes on, the siblings: John, Matthew and Ruth return to London to meet with Captain Radden.
“We are the most highly trained soldiers you will find, my brothers and I. We can cipher and decipher. We speak English, French, Hebrew, and German. We have an internal code between us that no one could crack. We are proficient in hand-to-hand combat, tactical driving, and any weapon from a simple blade or bow-and-arrow to any high powered explosive you want to give us.”
John spoke. “Matthew can stay at your base and teach. We know that you’re training spies. Ruth will go back into France, under your program, and work for you. I can enter your officer ranks and lead men in combat.” pf. 12
Although the other ladies in this group, and most people were not prepared did not see the war coming, Ruth and her family had been preparing for many years, and now they would be able to put into practice their techniques and training.
"Ruth imagined that she and her brothers had it better than most. They’d known it would come and had simply waited. Now, it felt like their purpose for existence presented itself – and rather than the burden of a disrupted life, it was more like the culmination of everything for which they’d trained and waited.
She knew the time would come very quickly when Charlene would fire the proverbial starting gun. She was ready." pg. 25
Grace's cover will have her working in a cafe, and she will be responsible for keeping an eye on Prudence and providing protection, both done discreetly of course. On top of this she will also be helping her brother with the prison break and other missions that may come up which thrills her, until she finds out she will need to jump out of a plane.
The incidences in her early life regarding the Germans have left her with such a hatred for them. She calls them pigs, swines, and more and even thinking of them makes her skin crawl. But will do what needed to assist with the war efforts, even dating one.
"The longer she stayed in France, the more the burning anger inside her grew. In England, no one spoke of the forced labor camps where the Nazis sent all the Jews and political prisoners. Here, everyone lived in fear. The camps were everywhere, and she knew through intelligence that the Germans had plans to build even more. The idea horrified her. What kind of people could do this to other human beings? What kind of thought process did it take to determine that an entire race of people could be systematically arrested, robbed, tortured, starved, and killed?" pg. 50
Grace is a quick thinker and deals with situations that may arise. When there was a problem with a German whom was giving Prudence problems, she dealt with it quickly and easily. Again when on her mission within the prison, and it came upon her unannounced, she dealt with it, and still kept on schedule with the mission.
"She rushed to the far wall and pulled the bomb out of the bag. Once it was secured, she checked her time. Twenty seconds to go. Her date for the night had almost ruined her timing. As the second hand hit the twelve, she activated the bomb, then ran out of the office, leaving Hammerlein behind her." pg. 61
Bombs explode and they are off to save Temperance but the keys to the cage are not on the hook where they should be. They follow the voice of a man coming from inside the cage, and are,
" shocked to find a German Oberlieutenant cradling Temperance in his arms. He walked toward them, unperturbed by the fact that she kept her pistol trained on him. As he reached them, Abiel said, “You are blowing your cover." pg. 64
Who is this man? Will they get out safely? What will happen to the other operatives?
This is one fast paced escape and you will want to pick up this book for yourself and see what happens with all the twists and turns. Definitely a great book in a great series, that will keep you coming back for more. Thankfully there are two more!!
You will learn about the real events that this book is based upon, even where the cover picture idea came from. You will also read about Nancy Grace Wake aka The White Mouse, see a picture and be amazed by her war efforts. There is a translation key, a reader's guide, and a great section on the planes and cars of that period. You will also find an excerpt for the sixth book in the series, which arrived in bookstores in Feb. 2015. Pick it up for yourself, and see if you agree with my review!
Thank you to bookfun.org for this book in exchange for my honest review.
(reviewed 9 days after purchase)
on March 31, 2015 :
Grace’s Ground War is the most action packed installment of the Virtues and Valor series to date. Ruth is a Messianic Jew whose early years were spent in Palestine. When her mother is killed in the Hebron Massacre, her father, a veteran of WWI, decides to take his children back to France to train them for what he believes will be the dark days to come. Ruth and her brothers learn combat tactics and are prepared for battle. Hiding their Jewish heritage, they remain in France until the death of their father. They then head to England and offer their services to the Intelligence office. They are all assigned positions, Ruth’s being a member of a special group of women, preparing to infiltrate occupied France. Ruth’s code name is Grace. Her job will be espionage and ground war. Grace is the only one of the women with actual combat training, so it will fall to her to help protect the others as they go about their jobs. The reader will be forced to read this in one sitting, as the action moves along so quickly.
As in the other novellas, the story does not stop with the fictional one. The author has included some fascinating information about a real woman who worked to fight the Nazis. There is also a “Translation Key” for the British and Scottish words with which the reader might not be familiar.
I received this from The Book Club Network.
(reviewed 5 days after purchase)
on March 29, 2015 :
Part 5 of the Virtues and Valor Series continues with the spying, excitement, and suspense. Grace’s Ground War gives the reader the backstory of Ruth Aubertin, codenamed Grace. She is a highly trained soldier from childhood by her father alongside her brothers. She is an expert when it comes to weapons and explosives, and can hold her own in hand-to-hand combat. Grace operates in Occupied France planning, strategizing, and carrying out missions sent from headquarters. She also has the back of her fellow agents and friends she spent months training with.
Hallee Bridgeman packs so much action into these serialized novellas that you are literally on the edge of your seat with the nail biting suspense. If you love historical fiction inspired by historical people and events that includes stark bravery of heroes and heroines, you will be inspired by this series.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, through The Book Club Network (bookfun.org) in exchange for my honest review.
(reviewed 5 days after purchase)